Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Dress

Ever since I started sewing for myself, I've always made myself a new casual dress for Christmas Day.  And I always seem to sew it on Christmas Eve.  It's only the 22nd today, but as it's 9:50pm in Brisbane, it's unlikely that I'll start until the 23rd (or as we say in my family: Christmas Eve Eve).

I've been buying Burda Style all year.  I LOVE the magazine.  Their casual dresses are awesome, but they have  a disturbing idea of what constitutes work clothes (though there were a few cute dresses I can probably get away with in court).

So, the Christmas dress comes down to these two options from May 2011:

Dress 104: 

Dress 110: 

I've got a black and cream crepe-y fabric that I picked up from a garage sale earlier this year (about 6m worth if I remember correctly).  I've got black stretch jersey in the stash to make the bandeau.

Opinions please?

Happy holidays, whatever you celebrate (I celebrate eating too much, watching Xmas movies and looking at the lights)!!!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vogue 8380 in maroon jersey

Finally, a finished object!

I started by making a muslin out of calico (I only did the top half of the skirt for fitting purposes).  For once, I actually wanted to make sure that the dress fit properly; firstly, because it was going to be made out of a stretch fabric (the pattern does say lightweight wovens and jersey), and secondly, I'm trying to actually learn how to fit properly!

I did the fitting the lazy way - once the dress was on my housemate, I pinned the fabric so it was very close fitting - I ended up cutting off a triangle from the side of the top pieces - hard to describe - it was about an inch at the top and tapered down to about 1/4 inch at the end.  The rest of the dress was made as normal.  I have a feeling that this isn't the way to do fitting - I've got a copy of Nancy Zieman's Pattern Fitting With Confidence.  Next project (after I do my graduation dress) will be done according to the steps in this book!

I only had to unpick ONE seam, which is a first for me (usually I spend about half of the sewing time unpicking - sigh).   I put this down to familiarity with the pattern (I started sewing two days after the muslin, so I knew exactly what the steps were.

And now the big reveal:
Whaddya think?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Making dresses!

I'm making a dress for my housemate for her med graduation ball.  We decided on view B of Vogue 8380.  We picked out some maroon stretch jersey at Spotlight on the weekend (for once they had some knit fabrics that weren't ugly/crappy!).

So this is what it might look like (I know others do the fabric/line drawing thing, I suck @ Photoshop):
My graduation also was confirmed today, so I'm going to start flipping through my patterns and pattern magazines to see what I can come up with! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cutting tables

After spending many MANY hours reading others sewing blogs, I saw that many people had specially built cutting tables.  As I said in my last post, I can't stand cutting out fabric for sewing.  So, I hatched plans for a cutting table.  I was going to get my partner to make one, but when we sat down and worked it out, it turned out that a table from Ikea would be a better idea (that, and we'd have to do painting or something - and I'm not handy at all, so that would have been an unmitigated disaster!).  After reading the Ikea catalogue too many times (I always order it because we never seem to get it - it's such awesome bedtime reading), I decided on the Vika table with adjustable legs - you need a table height of at least 85cm for cutting to be comfortable.

Here's the table with the fabric I'm working on right now.  I'm making my partner boxer shorts!  He's going to Japan to celebrate the end of med school, and I want to 'mark' my territory if you will ;)  And they're a very delayed birthday present for him (early October).

It's really comfortable to cut with - no bending or anything!  The height is as high as it will go.  I had to grab one of our rarely used kitchen stools and I've setup the presser foot on a box :)

Forgot to mention - I set it up all on my own!  I may have owies on my hands from the screwdriver though.  I guess I can follow instructions!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sewing books

I'm a bit of a book geek - I did my first undergrad degree in literature.  So ever since I started sewing, I've been searching for the elusive sewing reference text.  
Though today's sewing patterns are pretty damn good with instructions (well, most of them), it's fun to have a few books around.
The first book I bought was this one - The Complete Book of Sewing.  This one is pretty good, but not very attractive.  It's a lot of fun to read in bed actually.  Was good study procrastination.  I got it for $12 at a bookstore (I can't remember - maybe UBD?), so it was an impulse buy.
After researching a bit more, I decided to get Vogue Sewing and the Colette Sewing Handbook.  
If you're looking for a gorgeous book that really inspires you, go for the Colette Sewing Handbook!  Sarai's an internet sewing LEGEND, and designer of Colette Patterns.  Her designs are vintage inspired and simply breathtaking.  This one comes with 5 patterns as well.  The pictures are beautiful and her writing style is like having an awesome sewing friend right next to you.
Vogue Sewing arrived this afternoon.  It's a 460 page monster!  I'm so excited to get in and read this one.  It's the size of my Corporate Law textbook, but about 10 million times more fun!
I spent the weekend re-organising my sewing space.  It's been a HUGE mess from about the start of October.  Now that exams are over (and marks are due out on Wednesday - eeeep!) I had a chance to clean!  I'd show you pictures, but the camera battery died! :(  I'm about to get my partner to build me a sewing/cutting table - I want one that's about 90/100cm tall so I can cut without killing my back.  Cutting's my least favourite thing to do with sewing, so if anything will kick my arse into gear, it will be good!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Amy has a sewing blog!

So I decided to start a sewing blog now that I've finished law school (hopefully, results come out on November 30).  So I called it Sewing Counsel.  It'll be about sewing, obviously.  And Counsel is a lame reference to the law - I hope to become a barrister after a few years experience!

I start a grad job in January, so hopefully the next two months of posts will be filled with fun sewing of work tops, skirts, pants and hopefully jackets!

To start off with the fun, here's the dress that I sewed for the Riverfire Ball this year.  It's made with a funny lace fabric I found at spotlight (it seems to be fused to a microfibre type fabric) and is lined with black poly satin.  The pattern is Vogue 8723.